Court hears details of life for men kept as 'slaves'


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The Independent Online

Four men arrested after a raid on a traveller's site were remanded in custody yesterday after appearing in court on charges of enslavement.

Three brothers – James "Jimmy" Connors, 23, Tommy Connors, 27 and Patrick Connors, 19 – appeared at Luton Magistrates' Court along with their brother-in-law James "Big Jim" Connors, 33.

The court heard that many of the alleged victims were required to undertake labour such as ground work, block paving, resurfacing and retiling for little or no pay.

They are currently said to be in varying conditions both mentally and physically, and it was reported last night that a doctor specialising in the care of torture victims has been employed to treat them.

The charges against the defendants relate to alleged victims who were removed from the Greenacres travellers' site in Bedfordshire after a police raid on Sunday.

The four men face a variety of charges, all of which were allegedly committed between April last year and August this year.

The arrests followed an investigation into alleged offences against the victims by Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Police's Major Crime Unit.

The defendants live with their families at the site, in Great Billington, Leighton Buzzard.